Archive | June, 2013

Miraculous Ordinary

17 Jun


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In art, it’s called flow. By spiritualists, the universe, the godhead, a cosmic connection. Social justice workers refer to it as connected transformation. That moment where you just are, and it may turn into a half hour, or twenty hours, but you are “in” it and able to see where you fit, and where everyone else does. You are able to exist in a space that IS oneness.

In all the areas of my life that I keep coming back to, I’ve realized that search for this moment, creeps up all the time. We talk about it, endlessly. We wonder how to orchestrate environments to allow people to achieve it. If only we could show more people how to get there, then they would “get” what we are talking about, find value in our works, performances, classes, and seminars.

Walking around and intentionally recognizing the miraculous in the ordinary, makes it easier for me to support my students into those moments. There is a bit of the fake it till you make it. But this amazing thing starts to happen, you say it’s miraculous and marvelous and beautifully soul upliftingly yummy, even though it is an earthworm crossing the sidewalk, and you realize it is.  That there are so many reasons why it is a miracle, and so many ways in which we take it for granted. It gives you that window to see things in a different way. That difference, gives you attention and attention gives you connection.

We are all searching for that connection, the space to be one. Taking the time to recognize that it exists in every moment, everyday, with every person, takes forming connection off the plate of something to achieve and allows it to just be.
How can you recognize your miraculous ordinary?


Heal the World, One Word at a Time

14 Jun

“and there we were, the same human beings. It was just that he was wearing that skin and I was wearing this skin. And it was no more or less than that.”
-Baba Ram Dass

Even in 2013 we have so much work to do. Children in schools bullied by teachers and other students for not falling into line or looking different. Odd conversations on planes that leave us all feeling as if the air has been let out of our tires. Explaining to our young children of color why they see so many people people that look like them going to jail on TV and not so many people that look like them as their doctors or teachers.

Cracking the Codes is an amazing film by World Trust and Shakti Butler that goes further than your typical diversity seminar and is held in so much love that it is truly accessible, even to those that believe that racism no longer exists in the world.

Through her and her teams skillful facilitation people are encouraged to examine places where they have been othered, bringing your experience directly into the body. And once you feel an experience from your own perspective, you can not pretend that it does not exist.

I love this film for the ways it made me open my own eyes, for the window it gave me on the shared experience of wanting to belong that we all have. And, how exclusion and systematic reinforcement of exclusion continue to harm the whole world and make use sicker and sicker.

We can use words to heal the world. With one sentence at a time we can start to break down paradigms that we accept as the norm.

We all have to start somewhere, on the mat, with a piece of art or in collaborative dialogue with another. How do you want to start the conversation?


Yogis, Artists, Radicals: Demonstrate in Solidarity with Turkey

14 Jun

Saturday, June 15, 10 – 11am
Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland

Bring your mat and your heart for an hour of peaceful yoga practice in Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Meditate, lay in savasana, do multiple sun salutations, or extend your daily ritual.

We will dedicate one hour of communal self led practice to demonstrate solidarity with protesters in Turkey.

On May 27 people peacefully gathered in Istanbul to protest the development of Gezi Park, the last remaining green public space in their district. Within days, protests expanded out to a dozen other cities and have continued for more than two weeks. The protests have all been met with violent government opposition: more than 5,000 people have been injured by tear gas, water cannons and brute force. On June 5, protesters organized a massive yoga demonstration in Gezi Park in this ongoing effort to protect public space.

Come return the love, OAK > TURKEY.

Extra mats available. Signage encouraged.


Question Bridge

11 Jun

This is an amazing project by Hank Willis Thomas delves deep into the norms of race in our society and seeks to explode our assumptions about people.

It gives you the opportunity to see yourself where you are and at the same time transform your ideas about the community that you live in.

Boundaries and Intersections

10 Jun

ImageImage Credit: I work with a lot of artists. In fact, some days I remember that I am an artist too. Not just the days that I am struggling to make a sequence beautiful as well as functional, but also the days I arrange my garden, or redecorate my living room. Sometimes, I am reminded that I made bonafide art, in the form or ceramics and textiles, and it blows my mind. It’s so different from the life I currently lead. Or so I thought… I was talking to one of the artists I work with, a very close friend Guillermo Gomez Pena, we were discussing the overlaps between performance art and Yin Yoga. Guillermo and I often have very interesting conversations ranging from airport security to race to gender politics, but what was different about this conversation was that it overlapped a number of topics: love, borders, spirit, faith, endurance, strength. Our words and verbal images danced around the edge of discomfort and the explosion of intuitive knowing. It is no mystery that many performance artists are Buddhist. You can read about Maria Abramovic’s and a number of other artists personal feelings about faith and spirit and how it moves their work, enabling a commitment that they would not be able to find with just their own shear will. What we were dissecting was the idea that at takes the performer as well as the audience to the edge and it is through the breath that you are allowed to stay there, suspended until the next movement brings you back. We dissected the need for humanity to push boundaries in order to make the world a more inclusive space. We explored the ache that we all have to explore the raw edge of human physical being and what each of us explores at that edge. It was not the first conversation of this type, nor will it be the last, but it has given me a moment to think about my directions and where my heart feels most full. I am drawn to art that explores the edge of humanity, yoga that explores the edge of physicality, theory that explodes paradigms around race and equity. While I frequently exist at the borders or in the margins, I am beginning to envision that middle ground, where lots of border crossers can rest comfortably and recharge their souls. What is your boundary, where do you cross?

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